65 Reviews liked by mikhomak

My opinions on Persona 3 Portable are very neutral; I do lean towards a more negative outlook, though, sadly.
The portable version is certainly not the best way to play the game. I hate when people act like visual novels aren't a worthwhile medium, but portable is clearly a game pushed into a medium it wasn't originally intended for. I think it makes some of the story beats very weak, and the presentation as a whole feels very cheap, only made worse by the off-chance moments of Persona's stylistic flare.
Personally, I find the combat to be terribly weak. It's boring and tedious. It doesn't have the reward or addictive feeling of good SMT combat. An extra turn for hitting weaknesses or criticals doesn't really amount to much. In SMT, you reach this point where you are suddenly much stronger than you were before in a way that is rewarding and apparent; this is true of most RPGs. I never felt like I got this moment in P3, despite being the correct level for bosses. My damage always felt so low; nothing ever scales to be that big or grand. Also, I really hate the buff/debuff system in P3. Not being able to stack or extend the time of support skills is just annoying. I like the idea of one big dungeon, but when paired with poor combat, it makes for a tedious experience. The boss fights were very poor and uninteresting. The final boss is one of my least favorite final fights I have witnessed in an RPG, which tainted my view of the ending overall.
This may be a silly point to make, but I do not understand making a SMT game without demon talk. I think when putting SMT against other RPGs, SMT stands out due to its surprising nature. SMT will catch you off guard and force you to engage in demon talk mechanics: hold-ups, demons forcing themselves into your party, demons begging for their lives, etc. It's very charming and a core foundation of SMT's identity. P3 doesn't have any of that, though. I know the game doesn't have demon talk since the enemies are not demons, but that is another issue I have with the game. I dislike that the typical SMT demon designs are reserved for just Personas. In a series known for fun enemy designs, I grew a little sick of seeing the same tables, sludge monsters, dice, and gloves over and over again.
My issues with the combat and presentation are separate from the story, but they taint the experience as a whole, and I find it hard to view the story just as it is. I like how focused the game is on its main themes; it is very insistent on death and moon imagery, and I commend it for that. There are some very strong moments in the game. 10/4, Akinari's social link, and Aigis's social link, but the issue for me was that those moments were incredible, but they were the only ones I found myself really caring about. Take my opinions of the story as fully subjective, but I found it as a whole uninteresting and shallow. The parallels between characters are strong and drawn beautifully, but that's the only major praise I have to give. I think many of the twists are built up very poorly. The ending, to me, felt like it went out with a whimper. Not that stories need to feel bombastic and grand; there is beauty in quieter moments (I like how understated and bleak the ending was), but that's not what it was; it felt empty. Once again, I do think my issues with the combat and presentation give me a negative outlook on the story as a whole.
I think if I played Persona 3 FES or base Persona 3, maybe I would have given the game a 3/5, but, to me, portable takes an already weak game and makes it weaker. When it is good, it is incredible, heartfelt, and tragic; at any other moment, though, I felt nothing.

Ugh JRPGs are slogs aren't they. I don't really feel like writing down all my thoughts here. I could genuinely speak for hours about a game like this - what's good and what's not.
It boils down to being a JRPG at the end of the day. It has all the greats and all the disasters associated with it. Incredibly bloated, large uninteresting parts of the game, some incredible story beats. The gameplay loop in general is super repetitive, and the combat is only just interesting enough to keep it bearable.
I would also add that the side-content in this game is not as good as people say. Most of the mini-games are like "fun" in that it's amusing to see your character to do one of them once like the karaoke. Games like the pool though are irredeemable.
Also an hour long ending cinematic is just tiresome.
I think the next game is shorter, and the story is well-done enough to tempt me into it, but my patience likely won't last the whole series.

I don't understand how people can like it.
Yes, the atmosphere felt good when I first played, but the game was extremely boring from the very beginning. I'm not going to badmouth it here as it might be a personal thing, but simply, i don't like this and i dont think i can ever like.

Clearly, whatever it is most people on the site and the steam page got from this game was lost on me. I get what it was going for but I didnt feel engaged or intrigued, mostly annoyed and bored. I only have a vague understanding of the plot which I'm sure was intended, but really with these types of non linear-ish storytelling styles you'll either be excited and stimulated by it, trying to piece it all together or, well, bored and annoyed.
I came across this game thinking it looked a bit like "it comes in waves" which I really enjoyed but whilst there is certainly a comparison to be made, that one didnt pull all the cheap "lets cut away every 30 seconds" bullshit which probably works a lot better in film. I saw someone comparing this to the Lighthouse, which I can sort of see, but then Im not really sure why I liked that and disliked this.
At least it was only an hour long, but it felt twice that length to me. Maybe this sort of thing is more enjoyable on a second playthrough when its easier to piece it all together, like Paprika, but again I found the game to be insipid, so I am not too inclined to do so.

This was my favorite of the series. Awesome game!

This game just felt unnecessary. The story of the previous game had a satisfying and complete ending, so this one just felt forced. The story in this game was also way too short.
The gameplay was a bit more fun than the previous game. The change to dual lightsabers was nice, but it would have been even nicer to be able to alternate between one and two lightsabers.

I did an unplanned, impulsive Han Solo style "Whoo-Hoo!" twice, during chapter 13 and 19. And that alone is worth a recommendation.
The game looks gorgeous, huge, beautifully rendered landscapes and models, I know they're using tricks and it looks better because its small and far away, so they don't have to model them as well to make them look good, but good god does everything look bloody amazing. Its incredibly cinematic and really lives up to the AAA standard.
Soundtrack is legendary, definitely go out of your pay to put a bunch in your playlist tier. It fits the mood so well, and something about it makes it "feel" like "flying high" music. They nailed the theme.
Gameplay will take hours to learn, but once you do it becomes very smooth. Even by the end I still don't really know any fancy manoeuvres that I see on YouTube and Reddit, and I still got through feeling like a badass.
Story is B tier, great, but not quite "obsess over the lore tier", maybe if I play more if the games I'll get into the lore more. It seems like something thats up my alley.
The closest game to AC7 in terms of scope, quality, and fun that comes to mind is Yakuza 0.
Absolutely worth what I paid for it! (A$12.74 for 16.8 hours)

Dragon Age 2 is not a game for everyone. But if it IS for you, Kirkwall will stay with you forever.
Few games let you just live the life of someone slowly figuring their life out across 7 years in a fantasy setting.
Even fewer can say they are not about winning and saving the world, but trying to save the little peace of it that you know and love. You can't really save Kirkwall, or change the world in a meaningful way. But you were here for a while, loved some people for a while, and that's all that mattered in the end.
In the end, the best way I can describe it is a little quote your character can say about the city it's taking place in: "A city of people living their lives, good or ill."
So with all of it's flaws maybe that's what the game is all about. And that's what makes it feel so real to me.
An RPG about life, the good and the ugly.

I think about this game very frequently

if the gameplay wasn't stinky this would be much much higher, because this genuinely made me feel ill at several points.
However the gameplay IS stinky so despite the incredibly investing story, I can't convince myself to give it higher because between major story beats just wasn't all that enjoyable, and that's like most of the game sadly.

0 Lists liked by mikhomak